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Just returned....

New Plymouth, New...
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Just returned....

on Friday 23rd after 2 nights at the Terraces, 10 nights Nanuya Island Resort and 2 nights at the Hotel Mercure. Reviews are already up.

The trip to NIR and return was on the Cheetah. Apparently the Flyer has been withdrawn from service indefinitely, supposedly due to some mechanical problems they have been experiencing and I was told they had been grounded until their problems are fixed.

Another rip-off. On arrival took a yellow cab to the Terraces on Denarau, tried me on for $25 but had no problem convincing him to use his meter - fare just under $20. Gave him $25 any way, however on return from NIR we wanted a taxi to take us to the Hotel, big mistake. Should have used the bus. While waiting for our luggage off the Flyer we were approached by a person purporting to be a taxi driver and went to the cab(?) rank at the Marina with him and got into a beautifully presented aircon car and took off for the hotel. I then realised -no meter and said "this is not a cab" Yes it is he replied and the fare to the Mercure from a table of fares - Martinar $30. A bit of an argument ensued and I was informed that taxis are no longer permitted to pick-up on Denarau only the cars at the rank with yellow plates and numbers starting LH...

He got his $30 and then expected a tip ?? Checked his statement with Hotel reception and apparently thems the rules now - Another tourist rip off if this indeed as stated.

Flew Air Pacific from Brisbane both ways, on time throughout but never again, never seen so many ankle biters on a flight both ways. Full of screaming kids - not a pleasant experience.

First time back after 20 years. Don't think I'll be back, much prefer Vanuatu, the Cooks or Samoa.

Sorry Fiji lovers :) John

nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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1. Re: Just returned....

oldjon

Thanks for that report and for the review on Nanuya.

But although I love Fiji I have to agree with your comments. I fly AirNZ but I tremble when I see all the ankle biters waiting to board the flight, just hoping they're not going to stay where I am. And when I'm not flying there I've watched in the Koru lounge when families fill their bags with fruit and other food to take with them.

There are, of course, child free resorts but they tend to be the hugely expensive ones catering to honeymooners who are willing to pay inflated prices. With most of the other resorts it's a lottery even when one avoids school holidays like the plague.

And, yes, to get to quieter resorts it is more of a treck which is not what I want.

But this is where Fiji has positioned itself and it seems to be successful from their point of view.

I'll be going to Fiji again. However, I agree that Vanuatu, the Cooks and Samoa offer a more peaceful alternative.

You and I are going to be in big trouble!

Edited: 25 March 2012, 06:59
Australia
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2. Re: Just returned....

After 2 visits to Fiji I'm trying the Cooks in January, hoping its as good as everyone says :)

Rene

Sydney
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3. Re: Just returned....

I love Fiji and the quick flight times --- but will also visit Samoa and The Cook Islands sometime soon.....

Luckily, I havn't experienced the flight with parents from hell who don't look after their children - yet !!!

With regard to the Taxis --- we always negotiate the price before we get in, then there's no arguments....and we will then usually give a bit more....

New Zealand
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4. Re: Just returned....

Thats really interesting to hear about taxi's supposedly not being able to do pick ups at denarau. We were told the same thing in June last year, when we were departing from Sofitel to go to the airport. We were told by reception staff at sofitel that they would not ring another taxi company and that we had to use the 'taxi's' at port Denarau. And we too noticed a jump in the taxi fare from the Denarau based driver compared to the yellow cab that we got from the airport to the port. None of the denarau taxi's seem to have any metres - I think that the drivers are operating illegally as taxi drivers? What concerns me is that the denarau resorts are supporting this kind of activity.

New Plymouth, New...
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5. Re: Just returned....

The thing that was of concern was our driver took great pleasure in pointing out as we were leaving Denarau their security people (IE Denarau security) stopping taxis before the bridge. He said they , the taxi drivers, would have to check with the guards on leaving that they had not picked up on the island.

Mercure were using the same LH plated cars on their rank.

I don't know if what is happening is legal but our driver said that they would be supported by the local police.

The guy that picked us up definitely said he was a taxi ???

New Zealand
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6. Re: Just returned....

I never noticed any Taxi signs on their vehicles or metres. What I did notice is that we got charged over $60 to take 6 people to the airport in a large vehicle, what we in NZ call a people mover, by the taxi's at Denarau, and yet it cost just under $30 for all of us from the airport to denarau. As I said in my previous post, Sofitel refused to ring us another taxi company - which is interesting in itself. Also without saying too much, as this is a public forum, Fiji Police operate somewhat differently to NZ or Aussie Police.

Bathurst, Australia
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for Fiji, Viti Levu, Treasure Island, Sonaisali Island, Nadi
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7. Re: Just returned....

Welcome back thanks for the review information and also the info re the 'taxis' will be interesting to see what is happening with that for me later in the year!

Moreton Island...
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8. Re: Just returned....

Thankyou oldjon for your objective report after your visit. Sounds like more and more of this is happening with taxi's around the Nadi and Denarau.

Some of us have discussed various issues concerning the prices of "everything" in Fiji with all the new tourist taxes and other ways to make a dollar. Sadly they may price themselves out of the market, with people only going to the touristy big hotels/resorts on "package" deals advertised in the media by travel agents, and not to some of the small Fijian resorts further afield because of the high cost of ferry's etc

And a big ditto to horiboys's last sentence.

LTB

Tweed Heads...
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9. Re: Just returned....

Hi oldjohn

The taxi situation must be something that has happened recently. I remember seeing a lot of yellow taxis at port denarau last september, although we didn't have to use one. Then again, they may have been dropping passengers off at the marina rather than picking fares up. Perhaps the regular taxis didn't pay the "application fee" to the "proper authority".

New South Wales...
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for Fiji, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory
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10. Re: Just returned....

Just wishes the Cook Islands had better flight schedules. At least once you're there you don't have lengthy transfers on top of your flight. Is there such a thing as a resort in Vanuatu where you can snorkel straight off the beach in crystal clear water? Have been to the northern side of Vila on the Coonhoongula and visited some fabulous spots but nowhere to stay up there.....

Do agree - we found Fiji getting more & more expensive (particularly with "hidden costs") last visit and unfortunately it will be the smaller resorts that suffer the most from any turn away from the destination.